Reaction to an imagined feminist dating partner

March 1st, 2015

There’s no need to imagine your reaction to reading about a study about people reacting to an imagined feminist dating partner. Simply read the following, then note down your actual reaction:

Power motivation as an influence on reaction to an imagined feminist dating partner,” Eugene M. Fodor, David P. Wick, and Nicole E. Conroy, Motivation and Emotion, vol. 36, no. 3, 2012, pp. 301-310.

“we conducted a simulated dating service experiment with college men who scored either high or low on the Picture Story Exercise (PSE) measure of power motivation and later observed a video displaying an interview with a hypothetical dating partner. From among the 203 men who completed the PSE, 96 took part in the experiment. The video presented an 8-min enactment by a young woman who came across either as an assertive feminist or as compliant and agreeable. Electromyographic responses from the corrugator supercilii (frown muscles) fit the premise of McClelland’s power-stress theory, as did scores on the Reysen Likability Scale and the Affective Attitudes Scale.”

BONUS (possibly unrelated): Marzi, C. A., F. Mancini, T. Metitieri, and S. Savazzi. “Retinal eccentricity effects on reaction time to imagined stimuli.” Neuropsychologia, 44, no. 8 (2006): 1489-1495.

Miss Poland’s Attractiveness: What, oh, what is enough?

February 28th, 2015

Leszek Pokrywka, co-author of the seminal study “The Second to Fourth Digit Ratio and Age at First Marriage in Semi-Nomadic People from Namibia” [featured here a while ago], also played a leading role in analyzing what makes and what does not make Miss Poland attractive:

Body mass index and waist: hip ratio are not enough to characterise female attractiveness,” Leszek Pokrywka, Milan Čabrić, Helena Krakowiak, Perception, 2006;35(12):1693-7. the authors explain:

“The assessment of characteristic body features of Miss Poland beauty contest finalists compared with the control group, can contribute to recognising the contemporary ideal of beauty promoted by the mass media. The studies of Playboy models and fashion models conducted so far have been limited to the following determinants of attractiveness: body mass index, waist:hip ratio, and waist:chest ratio, which only partially describe the body shape. We compared 20 body features of the finalists of Miss Poland 2004 beauty contest with those of the students of Medical Academy in Bydgoszcz. Discriminant analysis showed that the thigh girth-height index, waist: chest ratio, height, and body mass index had the greatest discrimination power distinguishing the two groups. A model of Miss Poland finalists figure assessment is presented which allows one to distinguish super-attractive women from the control group.”

The Miss Poland contest.

The Miss Poland contest.

BONUS: A video that addresses a question about the female attractiveness. (Thanks to investigator Lily Hashem for bringing this to our attention):

The sword swallowers and their day

February 28th, 2015

Ig Nobel Prize winner Dan Meyer is the originator and prime mover behind International Sword Swallowers Day, which is today, which means that most of the world’s approximately 55 (somewhat) organized, professional sword swallowers are or will be swallowing swords in public, which is something they would do pretty much every day if they had their druthers.

The 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Brian Witcombe the UK, and Dan Meyer of the US, for their penetrating medical report “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects” (published in the British Medical Journal, December 23, 2006, vol. 333, pp. 1285-7). Here’s video of their one-minute-long acceptance speech at that year’s Ig Nobel ceremony:

Time Magazine is celebrating the day with an essay about the professionals who use large, pointed objects to practice catch-and-release fishing with themselves. The essay features Dan Meyer, and a portion of the talk Dan gave one year at the Improbable Research session at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science”

“When I put the sword in my mouth, I will repress the gag reflex in the back of the throat. Then I have to go behind my Adam’s apple, my prominentia laryngea, behind the voice box, the larynx, down about through the crichopharyngeal sphincter, up in the upper part of the mouth here. Then down into the esophagus, repress the peristalsis reflex, [muscular contractions] that swallow your food. From there relax the esophageal muscles, relax the lower esophageal sphincter, and slip the blade down into my stomach, repress the wretch reflex in my stomach.”

BONUS FACT: Dan Meyer and his sword will stage a triumphant return appearance at this year’s Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony — the 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony — on September 17, 2015, at Harvard University.

Not quite Artificial Intelligence: the mating of junk + mail

February 27th, 2015

The Huffington Post reports another misstep on the road to Artificial Intelligence: “Man Who Tried To Have Sex With Mailbox Found Dead“.

(TECHNICAL NOTE: This male-on-mail sex where one participant is alive and the other is not, does not qualify as homosexual necrophilia.)

Here’s a medical journal report about a similar, perhaps simpler attempt, 28 years earlier, by a different investigator:

A case of incarceration of the penis” [article in Japanese], M. Kamizuru, T. Nakatani, M. Maekawa, M. Asakawa, R. Yasumoto, and Kiyo Hinyokika, Acta Urologica Japonica, vol. 34, no. 3, March 1988, pp. 514–6.

The author, at the Department of Urology, Osaka City University Medical School, reports: “A 38-year-old male patient had been suffering from incarceration of penis with a milk-bottle for about seventeen hours. It was successfully removed by means of a glass cutter and hammer without any complication. Fifty-seven Japanese cases of this entity including our case were reviewed and discussed.”

Czech managers have trouble with shoes, reports Gullová

February 27th, 2015

Czech-managersThe Central European Business Review (CEBR) is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal focused on strategic business issues with a Central European perspective. For an example of a paper reflecting this remit, see an article which the CEBR published in the inaugural issue – Flaws in the Social Manners of Czech Managers.

It’s authored by professor Ing. Soňa Gullová, Ph.D. who is a Lecturer in the Faculty of International Relations, at the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic. Her paper points out that “[…] many Czech managers are ignorant of the rules of their own etiquette.“

Improvements can be made though. Some tips from the paper :

“A suit also doesn’t look its best with stuffed pockets or if the trousers are too short or too long. Czechs have trouble with shoes. Shoes to go with a suit must be made of leather, have a thin sole and always be of a darker shade than the suit itself.”

“Nowadays, we do not have to finish our meal anywhere in the world; in some countries this is actually never the case as we would be signaling to the host that we have not had enough. In Europe we consider loud eructation after a meal rude; however, in many Asian countries, it is considered a tribute to the host.”

“Some of the most frequent ‘faux pas’ in the area of attire committed by Czech manages are, for example, wearing of slippers at the workplace, wearing of men’s sandals without socks with a suit, unbuttoned top buttons of a shirt together with a loosened tie etc. The hands are not to be placed in the pockets. Chewing gum is inadmissible during meetings. The most criticized issue is the blowing of one’s nose, in which case it is necessary to leave the room.”